Artem Severiukhin has apologised for drawing huge criticism after his alleged ‘Nazi salute’ on the podium after winning the FIA Karting European Championship in Portugal. The Russian teenager was victorious in the 11-15 age group category, but was competing under the Italian flag as his country continue to be barred from international sporting events.
But after winning the event, he sparked criticism with his bahaviour as the national anthem was played out. He initially beat his chest before appearing to then perform a Nazi salute standing atop the podium, which led to him bursting out in laughter.
Severyukhin has since been suspended by his karting team, and he has now issued a grovelling apology for his actions. In a video released by himself, the young driver said: “I want to apologise to everyone for what happened yesterday in the European Championship.
“Standing on the podium, I made a gesture which many perceived as a Nazi salute. It’s not true, I have never supported Nazism, it was one of the worst crimes against humanity.”
Despite denying his actions, he did add: “I am ready to be punished, I am sorry.”